‘I’m excited’ – Klopp reacts as Konate completes Liverpool move

James Holland
Jurgen Klopp Liverpool F365

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says he’s ‘really excited’ after the Reds completed a £36million move for Ibrahima Konate.

The Frenchman will join from RB Leipzig on July 1, subject to gaining a work permit and international clearance.

Konate will help to solve some of Liverpool’s defensive woes from the 2020/21 campaign.

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Centre-backs Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip have all struggled with injuries in recent months.

That forced Klopp to play the inexperienced duo of Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams in the final few weeks of the season, although the pair did impress.

Speaking about Konate, Klopp said: “I’m really pleased we’ve been able to add a player of Ibrahima’s quality to our squad and he is someone I’ve admired for a long time, ever since I first became aware of his potential when he was at Sochaux.

“After the problems we had with injuries in the centre-half position last season, there’s no doubt it was clear it was an area of the team we needed to strengthen – but I first have to say that the job Nat, Rhys and Ozan did was incredible. Unbelievable really.

“In Ibrahima we are signing a player who will add to the quality we already have here. His physical attributes are very impressive; he is quick, he is very strong and he is dominant in the air.

“He comes to us after playing more than 90 times for Leipzig in the Bundesliga and European football. I’m sure that number would have been more but for some injury, but even so that means he already has experience of what it takes to compete in two outstandingly difficult competitions.

“He also played for a team in the Champions League in high-pressure matches, who have a similar football vision to ourselves.”

The Konate deal means Ozan Kabak, who was signed on loan in January, will be allowed to return to Germany.

Klopp added: “I am confident we are signing a player who can play for us right away, but he is a boy of 22 years of age who has room to improve because of his massive potential. I know that’s something he is eager to work on with us to become an even better player.

“For me, that’s really exciting because I have seen how good he is already and I’m looking forward to working with him when he joins up with us in pre-season.”